Kootenay Ice beat Rebels on road to sweep weekend series

Team takes down division-rival in entertaining 3-1 win, put recent slump in their rearview

They flipped the script over the weekend and turned a losing-skid into a winning-streak.

After a close 4-3 win in Cranbrook on Friday night, the Kootenay Ice beat the Red Deer Rebels in a road match on Saturday.

Having entered the series with four-straight regulation losses, the Ice are now returning home with back-to-back victories.

At the Enmax Centrium in Red Deer, Kootenay pulled out a 3-1 victory thanks to a huge middle frame and a solid performance by backup goalie Duncan McGovern.

With both teams having played each other the night before and then taken five hour bus rides, the first period was predictably on the slower side.

Aside from a monstrous hit from diminutive Ice forward Gilian Kohler on defenceman Jacob Herauf and a fight-win for Cameron Hausinger, there weren’t a lot of thrilling moments.

Add in a brand new ice surface reinstalled after several weeks on the road — which caused a bouncy, uncontrollable puck — and the opening 20 minutes ended in a 0-0 tie.

The night quickly started to heat up in the second period, however, and just a minute and a half in, the Rebels scored the game’s first goal.

Winning a battle in the corner, Reese Johnson made a pass to Mason McCarty, who easily blew past a pair of Ice players before beating McGovern glove-side.

Although Red Deer looked primed to take over, the Ice withstood their pressure and got themselves back in the game at the midway point of the frame.

Alec Baer took advantage of some defensive confusion on a 1-on-2 rush and snapped home an open-look shot past Rebels goalie Ethan Anders.

Less than a minute later, Colton Veloso got in on the party and slid a backhander through Anders’ five-hole after finding some space to walk in from the slot.

The pair of quick ones sunk the Rebels and the Ice then put in an insurance goal at the end of the second during their fourth power play of the game.

Winning a faceoff, Brett Davis teed up a shot perfectly for Peyton Krebs who wired one to the top corner with unbelievable speed and precision.

Although Red Deer improved in the third period, neither team ended up scoring in the closing 20 minutes, as the Cranbrook boys cruised to a 3-1 win.

Overall, the Ice outshot their opponent 33-24 and scored on one of five power play opportunities.

Veloso was the only player on the team to score in both Friday and Saturday’s games, and Krebs now has four points in his last two games.

With the win, Kootenay (10-12-1-0) is in sole possession of second place in the Central Division with 21 points in 23 games, two more than the third-place Rebels.

Riding a two-game hot streak, they will look to keep rolling at home on Tuesday night as they host the powerhouse Portland Winterhawks.

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